Bob Dylan Delivers Iconic MusiCares Speech, Talks Joan Baez, Johnny Cash and the Nashville Monopoly

By Ian Holubiak on Feb 09, 2015 08:16 PM EST

In an almost tear-jerking speech, Bob Dylan brought the MusiCares pre-Grammy event to its knees, knocking his dissenters and paying his respect to the people who gave him a stool to stand on. For Mr. Dylan, who rarely makes appearance if he isn't performing, this speech came almost 50 years in the making.

Some of his words may have been unruly, where he slights some of his peers and bashes the Nashville scene. Probably as most musicians would like to shout from the mountaintop but don't have a large enough voice, thus, he criticized the music monopoly and the artists that perpetuate the struggle.

Tom T. Hall, who he mentions specifically, he cites as the frontrunner of the Nashville music scene but puts him down for his close-mindedness. Do all songs need to feature their title in the song? Do they need to remain central to a common theme? As Dylan has done with his entire career, that notion is for the dogs.

To Jimi Hendrix, Peter, Paul and Mary and Joan Baez he gave a most resounding thank you. Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, some of the greatest musicians in history, he notes, were all noncommercial artists. Thus, having allowed himself to become part of the mainstream, while not particularly a part of his "plan," Bob had to thank the artists who catapulted him into music history.

He even provides some insight into his artistic process. What seemed like a "Da Vinci Code" (and there is a story out there about cracking his "code") is nothing more than an exercise in repetition. "If you sang this song all the time you'd probably write these lines too" he cantoed.

The 30-minute long speech has been transcribed and posted for your reading pleasure. As it's been noted, some of his words and expression are inaudible and have been redacted from the transcript.

Congratulations, Mr. Dylan, for a most deserved award and a most astounding speech. For once, we were finally gifted a most desired insight into the life and struggles of one of music's brightest talents.

"He made you listen to the words," they say, and that's just what you should do below.

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TagsBob Dylan, MusiCares, Joan Baez, Tom T. Hall, Nashville, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Paul and Mary, Mr. Tambourine Man, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke

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